Posts by Editor

Dear Shannon: Ethics Complaint Based on Iffy Info?

By Shannon Allen Can guessing lead to an ethics complaint if a buyer later finds out it’s wrong and makes a formal complaint? I thought a nearby development might be a new mall but it was actually a manufacturing plant. ORLANDO, Fla. – Dear Shannon: I’m a homebuilder and I showed one of my new houses to a buyer. The buyer then asked me about nearby construction and its future use. I said, “I really don’t know, but I think it’s the beautiful new mall proposed for this area.” After closing, the buyer found out it was not a beautiful
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My Buyer’s Full-Price Offer Was Rejected?

Getty Images/KittisakJirasittichai By Joel Maxson As this seller’s market continues to run wild throughout Fla., many people are asking what laws or contract terms come into play if a seller rejects a buyer’s offer even though it included all the terms the seller requested. ORLANDO, Fla. – When a seller markets real property for sale, they typically describe what they’re looking for in an offer. The most common item is a list price, although there can be  additional terms, like whether they will accept a financing contingency, and, if so, what type(s). Ultimately, the amount of detail they include is
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House-hunting Blues

By Alexandria Mansfield Many buyers in Fla. and across the U.S. are feeling the impact of a lack of inventory, competition from investors and rising prices during their home search. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The process of buying a house can put your life on pause. There are so many things you can’t do when going through the process of buying a new home. Free time can be absorbed by scrolling through Zillow listings or touring places with real estate agents. If you are relying on financing, you are advised not to make any other big purchases – like a car
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Experts: Lock in Mortgage Rate Now

Rates likely will continue to rise. An Oct. Bankrate survey says that among homeowners who’ve had a mortgage since before the pandemic, 74% have not refinanced. WASHINGTON – When the Federal Reserve indicated in December that it would be raising short-term interest rates to slow inflation – which had reached four-decade highs – it prompted a steady rise in mortgage rates. Between the Fed announcement in December and its approval of a one-quarter percentage-point hike, mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan rose to almost 4% in early March from 3.3%. Recently, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage topped 4% for the
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Insufficient Flood Insurance Impacts $4.5B in FHA Loans

HUD: A 2020 audit found at least 31,500 of the loans that year in designated special flood hazard areas didn’t maintain the required flood insurance coverage. WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General (HUD) uncovered in a new audit many properties nationwide that are underinsured for flood disasters and could be exposing homeowners and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to higher financial risk. An audit of FHA-insured loans from 2020 found that at least 31,500 of the loans serviced that year in designated special flood hazard areas did not maintain the required flood insurance
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In 1st Full Year of Pandemic, Biggest Metros Lost Residents

By Mike Schneider The pandemic intensified moves to the South and West, increased population in some micro cities and slowed population growth in the biggest U.S. cities. HOUSTON – After returning to metro San Francisco following a college football career, Anthony Giusti felt like his hometown was passing him by. The high cost of living, driven by a constantly transforming tech industry, ensured that even with two jobs he would never save enough money to buy a house. So he started looking elsewhere, settling on Houston just last year. “In Houston, I can be a blue-collar entrepreneur. With the Houston
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Pending Home Sales Dwindle 4.1% in February

Tight inventory took a toll: Feb. is the 4th consecutive month of decreases for NAR’s pending sales index, which is down 5.4% year-over-year. WASHINGTON – Pending home sales slipped in February, marking four consecutive months of transaction decreases, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Three of the four major U.S. regions saw contract signings fall month-over-month, with the Northeast being the only area that reported an increase. All four regions registered a decline in year-over-year contract activity. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, waned 4.1% to 104.9 in
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Fed Up With so Many Northerners Moving to Fla.?

By Amber Randall Survey: Over 73% of Floridians polled say too many people have moved in from out of state, putting pressure on the housing market; 51% are considering leaving Fla. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Many Floridians have scoffed in disbelief at all the homebuying competition posed by out-of-state newcomers, and a new study shows just how eager they are to remove the welcome mat. Over 73% of Floridians polled believe that too many people have moved in from out of state, according to a survey from Mphasis Digital Risk, a tech company for residential real estate lending. “You are
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6 Home Upgrades You Should Consider Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a process that’s a bit more complicated than simply putting it on the market. If you’re looking to add to its value – and most sellers do – then you’re going to have to put in some time, effort, and cash to make some upgrades. That will position the property more attractively on the market, as well as enable you to boost the price. But what are the right upgrades to make? Especially if you’re on a tight budget, you should consider sticking to the tried-and-true basics. Flooring, home offices, and curb appeal never steer you
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Mortgage Rates Rise 1/4 Point to 4.42%

By Matt Ott The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan rose a half point in just two weeks, likely due in part to the Fed’s decision to raise the key short-term interest rate. WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped again this week as the 30-year loan rate climbed to its highest level since January of 2019. The increase comes after the Federal Reserve last week increased the key rate – which it had kept near zero since the pandemic recession struck two years ago – by more than a quarter point. The central bank has signaled
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